Goodbye Rotary, Hello LS1

Matt Farah is back to even further solidify his love for the LS engine. This time showing off a light and loud 1986 Mazda FC RX7 that ditched its rotary for an LS1.

The owner, Ashley, bought the FC with the running rotary for only $500, ran it until it blew up, and started his “bang for your buck” V8-swap. He had plans to build it as a fun car to drive around on weekends– but after discovering its great performance on the track, turned it into a dedicated track car.

After stripping it down to a mere 2,600 pounds, the owner swapped in a T56 transmission, an IRS from a Ford Explorer, 3.73 gears, a helical differential, Brembo brakes from a Nissan 350z, 275 squared slicks, and what might be Matt’s favorite part: Kirkey seats. The LS is pretty much stock other than a cam and a few upgrades for durability, still utilizing the stock Camaro heads and stock intake.

The LS is chosen over the rotary for many reasons, but one thing that always holds people back is ruining the FC’s perfect 50/50 weight distribution. In this case, the car is 51/49 with the V8 and is even better with someone sitting in its driver’s seat. Not bad, not bad. Matt notes the smooth and even power that we all love from the LS1 and asks what we all were wondering since the beginning, what about the power?! Well, this thing went from roughly 130 horsepower to a whopping 405 to the wheels. Who wouldn’t want that?

“It’s hard to make an argument to keep the rotary when you can get these kind of gains for presumably a pretty reasonable amount of money, [especially] without messing up the weight balance,” said Matt.

About the author

Jenna Schiebe

Jenna’s addiction to all things automotive began soon after she was introduced to the car scene at age 16. She has a special interest in imports but, at the end of the day, is a enthusiast that loves anything that goes fast.
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